'So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be'. (Tennyson)
Published April 29th 2014
Baking the best Cornish pasties you'll ever eat
The SA Weekend list of '101 Things You Must Eat in South Australia' (The Advertiser, April 26-27, 2014) had me salivating, but it had one significant omission. Add an item 102 if, like me, you've kept the list. You must eat a cornish pasty from The Cornish Kitchen in Moonta. I had my first one last weekend and it was a treat.
Cornish pasties are the ones where the pastry joint runs across the top, rather than at the sides, and there is a good reason for that: a reason that is inextricably linked with The Cornish Kitchen's location on the Yorke Peninsula's Copper Coast.
Pasties were the staple luncheon food of tin miners in Cornwall. The solid pastry joint or crimp served as a disposable handle so that the miners' hands, sometimes covered with arsenic, did not touch the food they ate. Cornish miners immigrated to work the Moonta copper mines from the 1860s, and brought the Cornish pasty tradition with them.
The cornish pasties at The Cornish Kitchen are beauties. The pastry is light and moist in texture, yet crispy on the outside and solid enough to encase the contents without spillage. And what contents they are.
In your run-of-the-mill pasty, the contents look so similar from one bakery to the next that they could have been supplied in a bulk freezer pack (and probably were.) There are no short cuts taken in The Cornish Kitchen though.
The owners use a recipe that was handed down to them when they took over nine years ago. Visit in the morning and you'll see the staff chopping fresh potato, onion, carrot, pumpkin, swede, turnips and meat in the back room, and adding just the right amount of seasoning. The result is a freshness and flavour that had me relishing every mouthful, And had my partner heading back for seconds the next day. $4 is great value for what proves to be a substantial hot meal of meat and six veg.
The Cornish Kitchen is in Ellen Street, Moonta, not far from the Cornwall Hotel. It's open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 9 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 8 pm. The Cornish Diner round the corner at 61 George Street also sells their pasties, as does the Port Hughes store.
With plenty to see and do in and around Moonta, not to mention the rest of the Yorke Peninsula, there is every reason to plan your visit to The Cornish Kitchen.
On a recent trip to Moonta I purchased 12 of these pasties for people that said bring me back a Cornish pasty . They all said they were great but if there was one complaint it was that there is not much meat . And I would agree , in fac it took a lot to find any meat .